Terespol Old Jewish Cemetery
The city of Terespol was founded in 1697 under Magdeburg law in the village of Błotkowo, and was privately owned. Before that time, and from the 16th century onward, Jews ran an inn in the village. In the first half of the 18th century there are some recorded mentions of Jewish buildings. From 1753 the then-owner of Terespol welcomed Jewish residents and assigned them to live in the southwest quarter of the city, where a synagogue and cemetery were established. Between 1854 and 1859, by Russian decree, the city was relocated several kilometres west to accommodate a military fortress in Brześć. Between 1856 and 1859, new synagogue facilities were built west of the new town square. In 1907, among 3,385 residents 2,884 were Jewish (85% of the population), and, in 1938, 1,333 Jews comprised 51% of the total population. During World War II the Germans completely destroyed the kehilla facilities. In 1942, during the liquidation of the ghetto, the Jews were transported to Międzyrzecze Podlaskie and to labour camps, and from there to the Majdanek and Treblinka extermination camps.
The first Jewish cemetery in Terespol was founded as early as the mid-18th century and located 150 m northwest of the town square. Its history is largely unknown. It was in active use until the founding of the new cemetery in 1858 and was not destroyed during the city’s relocation. During the interwar period it covered trapezoid-like plot of land with an acreage of approximately 1.2 hectares. During World War II, the cemetery was partially destroyed. After the war it was largely abandoned and, in 1970, the remaining tombstones were removed, and the area was divided into house plots. Nothing of the cemetery remains and no tombstones have been recovered.